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HindustanTimes Thu,25 Dec 2014
Spectator: Happy New Year
Seema Goswami, Hindustan Times
January 05, 2013
First Published: 18:35 IST(5/1/2013)
Last Updated: 19:11 IST(5/1/2013)

Yes, it’s that time of year again. The time when we chalk up a long list of resolutions, all the stuff that we absolutely must (or must not) do in the spanking New Year that stretches out before us. Odds are, the list will be abandoned by the time February rolls around, but for what it’s worth, here’s my own list of New Year resolutions, in no particular order of importance.

De-cluttering my life
This starts from the very basics. The closets bursting with clothes that I will never wear (ie fit into) again. The shelves groaning under books that I barely got through the first time and will never re-read. The CDs I never listen to now that all the tracks have been downloaded on to my iPod. The magazines that lie piled up in a corner (and are still untouched after several months). The shoes that have been retired from active duty now that my back (and increasingly, my knees) has given up on me. The solitary bottle of barbeque sauce that lies forlorn and ignored on the back shelf of my larder. The ficus plant that stubbornly refuses to flourish on my balcony. All junk must go.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/popup/2013/1/choco_brunch.jpgTrimming my friends list
Over the years, we all end up adding friends to our extended circle. There are those we bump into at parties; those we discover through social media; those we meet in the new neighbourhood we move into; those we acquire by marriage; and those that acquire us. But as social research indicates, it is really not possible to keep up with more than a 100-odd people (especially if some of them are very odd indeed). So, maybe this is as good a time as any to get rid of all those who add nothing to my life; those who are unremittingly negative; those who take particular pride in running everyone else down; and those who are legends in their own lunchtime. (FYI, if you need to ask, “Don’t you know I’m famous?” you’re probably not.)

Making time for those who matter
Once I’ve got rid of the flotsam and jetsam of my world, it will be that much easier to work on my next resolution: spending time with those people who really matter to me. Long conversations on Skype with old school friends I haven’t seen in years. Making time for a cousin who has flown into town for a couple of days. Touching base with the extended family. Long, lazy lunches with my girl gang. Bonding over boozy dinners with my favourite Smug Marrieds. Ah well, you get the picture.

Swearing off all diets
Yes, yes, I know you’ve got this absolutely fantabulous diet. And yes, I can see that you have lost oodles of weight on it. But you know what? I don’t want to hear about it. Yes, you got that right. I. Don’t. Want. To. Hear. About. It. I don’t want to know how carbs mustn’t be mixed with proteins. I don’t want to be lectured about how I need to finish dinner by 7pm at the latest. And I certainly have no interest in the glycemic index of various food items. So, be a dear, and shut up about your diet already. (Because, in any case, I can’t hear you above the siren call of that chocolate fondant.)

Rationing my time on the Internet
Sadly, my search for a Net connection that automatically times out when it senses I am wasting time has come to naught. So, I guess I will have to do this the old-fashioned way: by exercising some self-control. That means not spending more than an hour on the Net every day, no matter how tempting the cyber trail that leads me away from the topic I type into the Google search box. And, of course, resisting the temptation to refresh my Twitter timeline every half hour.

To-do list: I must make time for lazy lunches with my girl gang (above); do away with the old books and CDs I never read or listen to; and I can’t hear you talk of your diet above the call of that chocolate fondant (above)!

Finishing my book
If I can stick to the resolution listed above, this one will be so much easier to fulfill. If I could just check which Tube line went from Westbourne Grove to Camden Town; read an article on the Lashkar-e-Taiba network in Bradford; research the new Beretta models on the market; and get right back to my writing, I would have finished my first draft by now. Instead, I go flying off on a tangent, clicking link after link until I’ve clean forgotten what I was searching for. Well, no more procrastination, starting right now. It’s full steam ahead with the writing.

Staying positive
I am tired of indulging the prophets of doom and gloom in the world. I no longer want to be told that a, b, c is impossible to achieve – well, at least not in our lifetime. I don’t need that kind of negative energy in my life. So, I am going to say nay to the naysayers. This year, as far as I am concerned, nothing is impossible. Or better still, my motto is going to be: The impossible? There’s nothing to it.
seema_ht@rediffmail.com. Follow Seema on Twitter at twitter.com/seemagoswami

From HT Brunch, January 6

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